Through the love and generosity of good friends, we have been blessed to be able to spend the last few days in their family bach on the Hibiscus Coast. In the spirit of many a Kiwi holiday home, it is only 45 minutes away from where we live but just 100m from a great beach, so the delightfully quirky (no two doors the same width) and slightly confusing (three levels in two and a half storeys) 1960s bach made a lovely place for a long weekend of relaxation and fun before I headed back to the office this morning.
The bach was a testament to decades of a loving family life lived well together and was full of charming period artefacts like the bakelite Philco valve radio and the 1970s vacuum cleaner, not to mention the carefully labelled family albums and wonderful EktaChrome slides, complete with viewer.
For the family, it has meant long sunny days at the beach with a bag full of books and sunblock, Sunday morning devotions together before a long walk on the beach to enjoy cappuccinos and juice at a cafe and leisurely stroll home through the tide pools and sand.
It also provided a great opportunity for us to catch up with friends like the Smiffs and funkypancake & family, recently returned from Blighty and bearing large quantities of watermelon and cookies, which were consumed with lashings of tea and soft drinks.
For all that, most of all, it was a great time for the younger members of the family to enjoy the very best of what the Kiwi way of life has to offer – fun in the sun, friends over for sleepovers, lazy days, takeaway dinners, kite flying, card games, jigsaws and crosswords, warm nights in creaky wooden baches – and the chance to simply smile and be happy!